Sunday, July 01, 2012

Artist Statement for my Oklahoma State Capital Show

Oklahoma, The Place Where I Call Home
Artist Statement
I found out last year that I would be given the honor of a one woman show at the Governor’s Gallery in the Oklahoma State Capital Building.  Shortly thereafter I received a grant to complete the project from Oklahoma Visual Artists Coalition.  I have spent the year painting in some of my favorite places in Oklahoma.
This project took me all over our fair state, from the mountains at Quartz Mountain and the Wichitas to the vast prairie land at the Tall Grass Prairie.  When I started this project I planned to visit the outer reaches of the state of Oklahoma but then life happened.  My husband had a heart attack in the spring of the year which drew me closer to home.  While my husband recovered, I gave myself permission to enjoy the beauty in my own back yard where we have been moving away from a grass lawn and instead, have created water, flower and vegetable gardens.  This spring I found that no matter where I turned in the back yard, I could find something beautiful to paint, so included in this series are many paintings from my own gardens.   The peonies have traveled with us for 30 years, from house to house and travel further back in time to my husband’s great grandmother’s flower beds.  Some of the roses were salvaged several years ago from the area where now sits the Tulsa jail. 
I grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York where I lived near a beautiful trout stream which ran right behind my house.  I spent many a day playing in the creek and exploring the woods and fields around my home.  Thanks to Petra Field Camp who supplied my lodging along Flint Creek where I have been able to explore, play and paint the Illinois and Flint Rivers and the Clear Creek at Clear Creek Monastery. 
There is still nothing more inviting to me than a dirt road.  Many of the paintings of the Osage and Tall Grass Prairie lands are off the beaten track.  Thanks to fellow explorer, Richard Higgs (NPR’s Folk Salad Radio Show), I was able to paint in some of the more remote places in the Tall Grass Prairie without getting lost.
Last year on a return trip from the prairie we spotted a sign advertising wagon races in Skiatook.  Again, a dirt road beckoned us.  We found we were too late for the races but put it on our calendar for this year.  The painting, “Stopping to Pick Berries,” came from some of the photos I took the day we sat in the shade of a persimmon grove and watched the races.  I can highly recommend it.
You can hardly paint in Oklahoma without painting at least one cowboy and one tornado.  I included the cowboy in my still life. “Cowboy Dreams,” and the tornado actually came from a very quick photo taken out the window of the car as we were coming home from Flint Creek.  We were trying to decide “should we stop or should we put the pedal to the metal and get out of here?”  We decided on both. (This painting will be in Capital Show only )
I teach adult oil painting lessons in Tulsa and when I am teaching at TCC every semester I choose a master painting to work from so that I can demonstrate techniques of drawing, measuring, brush work, and glazing.  The resulting painting is unrecognizable from the original as hair, clothing and background are transformed.  I love any excuse to paint a wonderful Oklahoma sky which you will see in the background of two of these paintings.  (The portraits will be in Capital Show only)
I am also the wife of a singer/songwriter ( Scott Aycock), and the mother of a singer/songwriter/musician ( Jesse Aycock ) and composer/musician ( Dylan Aycock).  My husband is also co host with the above mentioned, Richard Higgs on NPR’s music show, Folk Salad.  We also host musicians in our home concert series, House Concerts Unlimited.  All of this is to say how I came to paint the series, “The New Tulsa Sound.”  My life is not only surrounded by art.  It is also full of music.  I love what the young musicians are doing in Tulsa.  There is such a spirit of generosity among these guys and gals and a respect for tradition that has been inspiring us all in these parts for many years.  They were the inspiration of the painting of these portraits.  I have many more to go and some of them have been snapped up by Horton Records already, but I wanted to share some of them with you and encourage you to look them up and support their music.  The genres range from folk, rock, blues, jazz, and world music. (The series has been on display at Living Arts during “Oh Tulsa,” and will be in Capital Show only)
I truly want to thank the Oklahoma Arts Council for inviting me to display at the State Capital.  It is such an honor for me.  I also want to thank the Oklahoma Visual Artists Coalition.  They have been an encouragement for me as an artist throughout my career and were especially supportive, financially, in this endeavor.   Thanks to Steve Liggett and Living Arts for allowing me to preview the show in Tulsa so that I could share it in the place where I call home. 

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